2016 Theme Park attendance report issued

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and AECOM have released their theme park attendance report for the 2016 calendar year.  While The Walt Disney Company retained its title as the most visited amusement operator both domestically and worldwide, its attendance declined at every destination.  

 MK Castle

Disney's four Florida parks lost about 300,000 guests combined in 2016 compared to the prior year.  Declines ranged from .05% to .07% for each of the parks with Magic Kingdom attendance shrinking from 20,492,00 to 20,395,000.   

The four Walt Disney World gates retained their previous ranks on the list of most attended parks worldwide.  Magic Kingdom again charted as the most visited park in the world with Epcot ranked 6th, Disney's Animal Kingdom 7th and Disney's Hollywood Studios 8th.  Domestically the four Florida parks ranked first, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

These results are consistent with Disney's financial reports over the past year in which they cited higher prices as a driver of profitability in the wake of slightly lower attendance.  In 2015, Magic Kingdom attendance rose 6% while Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios saw 5% gains, plus 3% for Epcot.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney's Blizzard Beach also saw modest declines of .07% and .08% respectively.  The two  ranked first and second in attendance among U.S. waterparks while placing second and third on the worldwide chart.  

Out west, Disneyland ranked as the second most-attended park in the U.S. and in the world, however attendance dropped a reported 1.8% compared to 2015.  Disneyland attendance had spiked 9% the prior year due to festivities surrounding the park's 60th anniversary celebration.   

Disney California Adventure slipped one spot to 11th worldwide and 8th domestically with year-over-year declines of .09%.  The Universal theme parks continue to challenge Disney's dominance with the Florida-based Islands of Adventure attendance growing 6.5% to pass Disney California Adventure.  

In 2017 and beyond, Disney will look to its Pandora expansion at Disney's Animal Kingdom plus 'Star Wars' and 'Toy Story' additions to Disney's Hollywood Studios to hold off the competition.  Less than a million guests separated Universal Studios Florida from the two Disney parks in 2016.  

Internationally the news was a bit more grim.  Tokyo Disneyland attendance dropped just .04% while Tokyo DisneySea experienced a modest 1% decline.  However Disneyland Paris was down more than 14% year-over-year while Hong Kong Disneyland dropped a little over 10%.

The complete Global Attractions Attendance Report is available on the AECOM.com website.  

Reader Comments
Nice post -- CerysBates
2017 Jul 12 08:29:53 PM
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Re: 2016 Theme Park attendance report issued -- susandfam
2017 Jul 13 11:34:43 AM
After reading the article, I think I would be more inclined to say the numbers are steady. In Paris and Tokyo, I might say the decline is significant. I also think the WDW figures will improve modestly this year.
Re: 2016 Theme Park attendance report issued -- DVCReservations
2017 Aug 02 03:42:38 PM
Wonder what the decline in attendance in recent years would looks like superimposed over the price percentage increases.

They certainly have reached the point where its tipping the balance.
Re: 2016 Theme Park attendance report issued -- denlo
2017 Aug 03 09:52:54 AM
DVCReservations wrote:
Wonder what the decline in attendance in recent years would looks like superimposed over the price percentage increases.

They certainly have reached the point where its tipping the balance.

That would be an interesting comparison. However, I would think other factors would have to be considered, like construction at the parks, and competition from other amusement parks and even Disney Cruise Line.

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